A Review of Heavy Metal Levels in Marine Vertebrates and Some Studies of Mercury in Seabirds

Thompson, David Richard (1989) A Review of Heavy Metal Levels in Marine Vertebrates and Some Studies of Mercury in Seabirds. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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A review of the levels, accumulation patterns and geographical variations of heavy metals (As, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn) in marine vertebrates (marine fish, seabirds and marine mammals) was made. A method was developed to allow organic mercury to be extracted from feather samples, and total and organic mercury levels measured in feathers and internal tissues of a range of seabirds species. The relative proportions of inorganic and organic mercury in internal tissues were investigated for a range of seabirds and related to variations in frequency of feather moult and longevity. The effects of age, reproduction and feather moult upon mercury levels and dynamics were investigated in great skuas of known age, and common guillemots collected at specific points during the breeding season. The form of mercury in seabird feathers was determined and historical changes in mercury burdens of a range of British seabirds were assessed by incorporating the organic mercury extraction technique to overcome museum contamination problems and analysing mercury concentrations in feather samples from preserved and contemporary specimens. The mercury levels of Scottish golden and white-tailed eagles were measured and related to trends in reproductive success and dietary variation. The use of mercury concentration conversion ratios was assessed and their validity briefly considered.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Biogeochemistry, Toxicology
Date of Award: 1989
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1989-78003
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 15:44
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 15:44
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/78003

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